If a 3-way head can cover all possible positions what would make the two extra moving axis of a 5-way head needed for, and which are these extra axis?
A 5-way head should in addition to the 3-way head be able to pivot its top plate and offer also fore-aft or lateral adjustment on that plain.
This gives an answer to the 3-way head issue when tilted in any way than its vertical position. Then, if you pivot the base the camera/lens move in an arc instead of pivoting.
This may change the hole perspective, depending on the lens focal length, items may seem more distant or closer and/or go out of focus.
Nowadays, one can find 5-Way heads in the market, but, but... the price tag is BIG.
Having the right equipment in hand, it did not take long for me to figure out an economical way to create a 5-Way precision head.
Based on the sturdy Benro HD-38 3-way head, the Benro PC-1 Panorama clamp and the Nodal / Macro Rail I had previously put together, I created a 5-Way precision head in a few steps.
A 3-Way classic
|Take a classic 3-Way precision head like the Benro HD-38 with front-back, side tilt and panning movement.|
|Then take a Panning Clamp as the Benro PC-1 Panorama clamp removing the dovetail quick release plate and attach it on the HD-38 - PH-10 quick release plate with the aid of an 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 thread conversion bushing...|
Turned into... a 4-Way
|Here the whole setup is mounted and leveled horizontally on a Benro A-298 EX Versatile tripod which is excellent for Macro work with its center column being able to move in different angles.|
|Some tilt to show the setup.|
The Panorama Clamp long screw knob can be easily used as a handle for the pivoting position.
|Now even when the head is tilted to the front you can pivot the camera 360 degrees on its base.|
Turned into... a 4,5-Way
|By mounting a camera equipped with an Arca-Swiss compatible base plate on the Panorama Clamp the benefits are more obvious.|
|Same head position but the camera is pivoted.|
into... a 5-Way
With the addition of a long plate like a the Nodal Rail I had described in another post, a full fifth dimension is added to the possible movements with this head. That is back and forth on the pivoting Clamp.
This is excellent for Macro work, but let your imagination free to discover many more uses especially in difficult positioning spots.
|A better rear side view of the setup.|
|Mounting a camera makes it more realistic.|
Needless to say that this setup can also be used as a Single Row Panorama head.
|Again if you have a long enough dovetail plate on the camera, a small movement of 2cm (0.79") right or left is also possible, within the limits of the Nodal Rail Clamp of course|
I hope you found all the above "ways" and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos: © 2010 S.C.Vlachos
Prices and Availability:
The Benro HD-38 3 Way pan-tilt head costs ~ US$ 125.00 in the US and is available from Amazon.com, ~ GBP 75.00 in the UK from Amazon.co.uk and ~ EUR 100.00 in Germany from Amazon.de or from eBay.
The Benro PC-1 Panorama clamp costs around US$ 110.00 shipping included from eBay and around EUR 150.00 from local European Markets.
Benro HD-38 3-way hea Review
Benro A-298 EX Versatile Tripod Review
Benro PC-0 and PC-1 Panorama clamps Review
Kiwi fotos LP-169 Lens Plate Review
Create an Economy Macro/Nodal Rail
Fotoporo QAL-500 5cm Quick Release Clamp